Public offered free motion sensor camera to mark hedgehog week

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Hedgehog by Gillian DayHedgehog by Gillian Day

A special nature spotting kit that includes a motion sensor camera is being offered to older people by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to kick off Hedgehog Awareness Week.

The Trust’s Wild at Heart team is also organising the delivery of four beautifully crafted hedgehog homes that will be installed at sites around Sheffield over the following weeks. These homes act as perfect hibernation habitat for the UK hedgehog, which has been placed on the priority species list following a decline in population of up to 40% over the last decade.

 

The nature spotting kit consists of an infra-red motion sensor trail camera — similar to those featured on TV programmes like Springwatch and Countryfile — binoculars, audio recorder ID charts and several books about urban and garden wildlife. It can be borrowed from Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust for seven days at a time by anyone who is over 50 and has a safe garden space to keep it in. The offer will run through May and beyond.

 

Wild at Heart is a project designed to work with people from the Sheffield area that are aged over 50. Its aim is to improve people’s wellbeing through interaction with nature using simple, hobby based activities.

 

Susan Smith, Project Assistant at Wild at Heart, said: “We hope that by gently supporting people to explore their immediate surroundings in fun and different ways we can help them to reconnect or connect with nature.”

 

The homes are provided by the Trust’s environmental consultancy, Wildscapes, and will be placed in sheltered housing schemes and other projects around the city. Both the homes and nature kit are not only intended to help protect hedgehogs and other creatures found in UK gardens, they are also a fantastic way of allowing older people to interact with their local natural environment.

 

Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and runs from the 1–7 May. To highlight the drive, Wild at Heart is running several events throughout May focusing on protecting and increasing understanding of these iconic creatures.

 

The sessions will concentrate on debunking old myths about hedgehogs, as well as provide instructions on how to take care of them. There will also be demonstrations on how to make hedgehog shelters from recycled materials.

 

The hedgehog boxes are part of the new 'A great place to stay' range of wildlife homes for 2016 through WildPlay — an outdoor learning and natural products catalogue that provides schools, community groups and individuals with the resources they need to get children and young people outdoors and encourage wildlife in their own back gardens.

 

These boxes along with others for bats, birds and insects plus other great ideas are available through WildPlay for purchase by the public from wildplay@wildsheffield.com.

 

John Thompson, Wildscapes’ Team Leader, said: “With hedgehog populations on the decline it’s great to see such a fantastic range of Wildlife Trust activities taking place to educate people all about these iconic creatures. Very often simple changes such as installing habitat homes or maybe looking after your garden slightly differently can make a real impact and this is a great way to spread that message.”

 

For more information about the hedgehog homes or the nature spotting kit contact Jenny King at j.king@wildsheffield.com.

Talks will be held on:

 

· Monday 9th May, 10.30am to 12noon at Lowedges Sheltered Housing Scheme, Lowedges Road, S8 7JG.

· Thursday 26th May, 11am to 1pm at LEAF Allotments on Herries Road, S5 7HA.

 

And watch out for more hedgehog projects from the Trust in the coming months.